Monday, November 24, 2008

Welcome Home

Today I left work early. I needed to be home to get my doctoring of the horse ickies done before dark set in. I pulled into the drive at 4:00, stopping only long enough to pull on my farm boots, jacket, toque and gloves. Moving quickly I let the dogs out of jail and caught Whiskey. Once she was treated I moved to Stella the weanling's pen. Stella had had very little (as in none) handling before she came to my house so she is wearing a halter and a drag line until she's tame enough to easily catch and handle.

I grab her rope only to have her twitch, shake her head and rear. Settling her I notice somethings not right. Something is very bad indeed. There is something nasty looking hanging down from under her head. Gently I move her halter. Only to have her rear again. Carefully I loosen her halter and take a closer look. Her halter is covered in goo. Welcome home!

I drop her line and hustle into the house. A phone call to the vet later I'm back outside. Worried my new addition has either strangles or impaled herself on something I can only wait. My vet has Monday's off and with the rapidly disappearing light I'm waiting for my dad to come help me.

We carefully removed her halter leaving a rope around her neck and began to irrigate the wound/abscess with an iodine/warm water mix. Needless to say Stella did not appreciate our efforts. After cleaning the wound we moved panels to create an additional barrier between the two groups of horses. Stella lived alone but shared a fence line.

Next step was sanitizing everything. Strangles is very, very contagious. Spraying boots, washing outer clothing and soaking her halter and lead in a disinfectant wash.

Settling down at the computer I went Internet searching for information on Strangles as I've not had a horse with it. If Stella has it, she's an atypical case. Meaning she doesn't have all the symptoms. Tomorrow morning Sam (the vet) will call. And likely come out and take a look.

Waiting, gotta love it...

Picture taken 1 week later.  Not bad looking now!

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